So, the last tuna casserole recipe I printed off the internet didn't work out so well. The blame goes to using egg noodles that were too large. Or maybe using egg noodles at all. The end result was tasty, but so doughy that it made me wonder if I should eat it or use it to caulk a drafty window. Today's version worked out much better, but it's so much more rich in dairy that even I, a dairy lover, thinks it may be too much to put into my routine.
What You'll Need:
1 (16 ounces) package elbow macaroni
1 (12 ounces) can water-packed tuna, drained and flaked
2 (10-3/4 ounces) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (8-1/2 ounces) can peas, drained
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese, divided
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
What To Do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare macaroni according to package directions; drain, rinse, and drain again. Place in large bowl and add tuna, mushroom soup, peas, 1-1/2 cups Swiss cheese, cream, and pepper; mix well. Pour into 9- x 13-inch baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Swiss cheese over top.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until heated through.
I'll say right from the start that I didn't follow this recipe exactly:
- Most recipes these days have bought the Kool-aid that meat is bad(or less is better), so in many cases I add 25% or more. In this case I used 17 oz. of tuna instead of 12. More tuna is always good. Sue me.
- I used a 15 oz. can of peas instead of the small can. More peas are good. Sue me.
- I juiced it with a 1/4 TSP of garlic powder. Next time I'll go 1/2 TSP.
- I added five medium green onions that I sliced thinly by hand and saved to use to sprinkle over the casserole after 20 minutes of baking, and then I put back in for the last 10 minutes. They looked good too when it came out of the oven.
- My experience is that a casserole that fills a full 9X13 baking pan equals at least 30 minutes overall at 350 degrees. Forget the business about only 20 or 25 minutes. So it went in for twenty minutes and then I pulled it out to sprinkle the green onion on top, then it went back in for another 10 minutes.
I almost swooned when I took it out of the oven, it looked and smelled so good. I gave it a solid B+ for taste and an A for appeal and texture. After I ate about 1/4 of the pan by myself.
A couple of notes on what I will do differently the next time:
- Instead of 2 cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup, I'll do one and another of condensed cream of celery.
- In addition to the green onion on top, I'll do about a 1/3 cup of finely chopped white onion mixed in up front.
- I might go 1 cup of shredded Swiss and 1 cup of shredded Mozzarella or Provolone.
The cheese is an obvious + for taste, - for calories, though I've used cheese for a tuna casserole before. The heavy cream was a new one for me though. And, um, mmmmmmm. Probably not that healthy, but mmmmmm. I think it really made a huge impact with both taste and texture.
With a couple more months of winter left I'll hit this one again, with the new ad lib moves. I'll make sure I take a few pics for that.